Slowdown ease in some places

PARIS - THE downturn in some recession-hit countries is easing despite ongoing signs of a strong slowdown, the OECD grouping of leading economies said in a report on Monday.

'Composite leading indicators continue to indicate a strong slowdown in the OECD area but the pace of the deterioration is easing,' the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said.

The indicators assessed by the OECD in major member countries 'continue to point to deterioration in the business cycle, but at a decreasing rate,' it said.

The OECD said its key CLI economic indicator decreased by 0.1 point in March and was down 9.5 points since the same month last year.

The body's indicators 'for March 2009 continue to point to a strong slowdown in the OECD,' which covers 30 big economies.

'However France, Italy and the United Kingdom are showing tentative signs of, at least, a pause in the economic slowdown,' it added, pointing to a 'possible trough' in these economies.

The indicator for the United States fell 0.6 points in March and 11.8 since March 2008. In the eurozone the index was down 7.9 points on the year, but rose 0.2 points in March on a monthly basis.

The indicator rose in recession-hit Britain and Italy and in France and China, which is not an OECD member.

'With the exception of China, where signs of a pause have also emerged, major non-OECD economies still face deteriorating conditions,' the report said. -- AFP


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